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  1. #1
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    Tired of the chunk...need help

    Hey Guys-

    I am new to the site, and even newer to mountain biking. Currently I am 6'1" and about 285lbs. I am down from 310lbs, but on a quest for more. I have changed my eating dramatically, but know that I need to introduce exercise into the equation. Part of my weight is muscle mass, but a noticeable amount is fat. Going to the gym is good, but I always feel the need to lift, which doesn't really get me where I want to be (leaner).

    My question....I have 0 knowledge about mountain biking, so can someone give me a reccomendation for a bike for someone my size? My budget is sub 400 dollars, and the type of riding I will be doing is basical trails around a local lake, nothing too difficult, but want a bike I can grow with. Any reccomendations are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the club

    First off, welcome to the forums, and kudos to you for taking the initiative to get some cardio workout into your exercise regimen. My recommendation to you is to read up on the "What Bike to Buy" Forum in addition to threads here. There will be some very good recommendations in these forums. Unfortunately, your $400 is not going to buy much of a bike, let alone a bike that will handle your weight. You might want to consider buying something used and save a few bucks that way. The reality of it is that for heavier riders like us, you need stronger components that will stand up to the abuse our weight puts on the bike and it's parts. To find something that is made for off-road travel and will handle your weight, you're looking potentially in the $900+ range. There are bargains to be had if you look hard, but it will take time and a lot of research on your behalf.

    I'm sure others will come along and add their comments, too.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    Thanks Bob....I wouldn't have a problem spending the money if I knew this was something I would really get into. I just know myself and don't want to go drop 1k on a bike to have in hang in the shed. Thanks for the info, and it looks like I have alot of research to do.

  4. #4
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    Well I went out today and bought a 21" Gary Fisher Bitter. Hydraulic disk brakes, front suspension, etc. Got it out the door for 499.99. I will keep everyone posted, and hopefully can share a success story in the near future.

  5. #5
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    Now you got the bike all ya need is saddle time.

  6. #6
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    Just did my first ride. Did about a 4mile ride with my roomie, which has been biking for quite awhile. I am definitely out of shape, but had a great time. My roomie is 230lbs down from 315, so he gives me motivation.

  7. #7
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    I just started this year too, and the first few rides are really tough (so is taking a 3 or 4 week break, getting back on hurts all over again). I am overweight but pretty althletic, so my biggest challenge has been to not ride the bike like I am still a beanpole like in high school. I had a major full speed crash around a sudden switchback and landed on a bunch of logs. Hard to believe I barely got a scratch (thank got for full fingered gloves) but it taught me a major lesson:

    CONTROL THE DAMN BIKE!!!

    /ahem

    Don't ride faster than your limits. If you have to skid your tires to slow down, you are out of control. Follow that rule and you should avoid most nasty speed-related crashes.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info. I had not ridden any type of bike in probably 10 years, so it was a bit of an intimidating ride at times. I was hating life during the ride, but felt great after I was done and had a shower, noticebale amount of energy. My A$$ is killing me though....next purchase is some riding shorts

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmlx89
    My A$$ is killing me though....next purchase is some riding shorts
    If you find any in a 42, let me know.

  10. #10
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    Your rear will hurt for awhile! The shorts will help, but honestly don't go overboard with a new saddle, a seat cover, and whatever else I can't think of. After a couple of weeks of riding twice a week or more you won't get that feeling at all. If you are still sore at that time, then consider a new saddle. *Just trying to keep ya from buying all the crap I did cuz my a$$ hurt!

  11. #11
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    That's damn good advice actually, I was just looking for a new seat =). I guess I will tough it out and hope I become used to the butt pain. ( Never thought I would hear myself say that)

  12. #12
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    I have one other question.....I feel like I am bottoming out the front forks at times and there is no adjustment for stiffening them. Can I upgrade the forks? Again, the bike is a Gary Fisher Bitter 21". Thanks guys

  13. #13
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    I'm not an expert...still a beginner, but on some forks there are different things that they can adjust/change to make them stiffer etc. that aren't the "on the fly" kind of settings. Like on my bike you can change the springs that are inside the fork to a stronger one. But I don't know about yours. The only down side is that you paid like 5 bills for your bike and some of the really good forks with lockouts are about that much... I'm sure there are some cheaper ones and that's where I'll let the guys with experience chime in!

  14. #14
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    Well, there's the Specialized (a bike company) Assometer saddle fitting device at the Specialized dealer. Those are reported to get a pretty good guess at a saddle that fits.

    Where was this technology before I started my saddle collection?

    Also useful is having the rear-wheel re-tensioned for optimum performance. That way, it won't self-destruct.
    When the wheel is both tight and even, it lasts, and you can put more power through it instead of just into it.
    Why? When the wheel bears more rider weight, the spokes get droopy because wheels are pre-made to cushion a 150 pound rider. And, because droopy spokes absorb and do not transmit power.
    Last edited by danielhaden; 07-10-2006 at 09:51 AM.

  15. #15
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    manitou splice super... who knows adjustments?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmlx89
    I have one other question.....I feel like I am bottoming out the front forks at times and there is no adjustment for stiffening them. Can I upgrade the forks? Again, the bike is a Gary Fisher Bitter 21". Thanks guys
    you should be able to get some heavier springs for that manitou splice super fork (which seems to be what you ahve from the fisher website, right?) or add air to keep it from bottoming... I doubt these forks are tuned for a clyde out of the box. Did it come with a manual??
    i don't see it on manitou's website, so can't tell if it has springs or is an air fork, so you should ask the LBS. if it's got springs, you should get heavier wt ones.
    you'll likely need to dial in the preload to max w/ it's current settings, as well.
    [SIZE=1][/SIZE]

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmlx89
    Thanks for the info. I had not ridden any type of bike in probably 10 years, so it was a bit of an intimidating ride at times. I was hating life during the ride, but felt great after I was done and had a shower, noticebale amount of energy. My A$$ is killing me though....next purchase is some riding shorts
    I'd suggest giving the folks at Mt. Borah a call. You can look at their Plus size clothing at Mt. Borah

    I have a couple of pair of the Borah Plus shorts in 4XL that do a pretty good job. They also have a liner so you can wear regular shorts and still have the support and padding of bicycle shorts.

    I also have two pair of custom Boure bib shorts, but they discontinued their custom program last year and I haven't heard if they have restarted it.

    Regards,
    Tom
    [SIZE=3]tachyon[/SIZE]
    BikeClydesdale

  17. #17
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    I've been riding for 10 months now. Bike shorts, helmet and full finger gloves have been the best acc I've bought. Giro helmet BTW has a good helmet replacement program, that's another thread. The saddle pain will gradually go away, unless you suddenly do an epic ride without prep. The full finger gloves may be warmer, but, your entire finger is protected. I started off at 230, now, I'm 230. Need to work on my intake next, the good thing is, I eat as much as I want and don't gain! But seriously, good luck, see you on the trail.

  18. #18
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    Well....been riding for about a month now. I have dropped about 13lbs, and lost a noticeable amount of inches. I need more though, so I am joining the gym tomorrow because I fear that as it gets darker earlier I won't be able to ride as much. Thanks for all of the help so far guys, hopefully my next update will include more weight loss.

  19. #19
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Hey mmlx89

    Good on ya for getting out and getting active. I got back into things last year (6' 257lb) as married life and a good number of years having past from when I was in the Reserves had allowed a lot of lbs to creep on.

    After almost 2100 km in the last 18 mo, I'm happy to say I'm down 23lbs and am in tons better shape. I was at the point of my blood pressure being 138/89 (which is pretty close to the high BP range) with a resting active pulse of 88. That has dropped down to 120/82 with a pulse of 62...big improvement. I'm not at the 180 lbs I was in the military, but I'm still losing weight. I'd like to be back to the 180lbs mark, but I know that I've got a few more years before that happens. It took 10 yrs of a few lbs a year creeping for me to get really out of shape but now I am getting and keeping the weight off, which is a heck of a lot better than yo-yo dieting.

    Keep up the good work...it takes time, but it is well worth the effort. Good on ya!
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  20. #20
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmlx89
    I am joining the gym tomorrow because I fear that as it gets darker earlier I won't be able to ride as much.
    Gyms are good for your muscles but not always ideal for losing weight. A lot, of course, depends on what exactly you do. When conditions are bad for riding, or I just do not feel up to riding the rocky trails, I often go for a walk (I do not like running or jogging).

  21. #21
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    Well, I came back to AZ after living in WI for a bit. I gained a ton of weight (from 235 to 295), went down to 250, got sick, and went back up to 285. Turned out that I had quite a case of asthma and had to go on a few drugs to control it.

    Since I couldn't do the mountain biking I loved on my old Cannondale hardtail (too fat + too long = bad joints) I went back to road riding. I later upgraded my frame and found that I could use my indoor trainer again as my old road frame was too big. So, I got in a few hundred miles of road riding and lost enough weight to consider off-roading again but found sturdy bikes cost too much or came with horrible forks. My buddy Jon (fellow clyde) just hooked me up on his old Jamis XLT 1.0 and I've been having fun with it and its 5" of travel.

    Because of this, I dropped 10 lbs and went from limping with a cane to being able to hold my daughter and walk with her. My target weight is a realistic 225lbs, but I want to get back to a "race weight" of 205lbs and hopefully race with Jon in a year or two.

    If you can, drop soda (easy 600- 700 calories a day for me) and go with water or at least diet sodas during your transition. I am big on flavored water (like Arrowhead sparkling water with lemon), but look out for diet soda that claims to be flavored water. Hint, if it has a fruit flavor but is sweet then it's probably closer to diet soda than flavored water. I also bring in lunch to work and try to have several fruits per day in place of sweet junk food.

    Good luck.

  22. #22
    Have Cake and beat it 2
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    Hi MMLX89
    If you join a gym, get a personal trainer to do up a routine.
    also if they run it find a boxercise class. this is great for an all over cardio workout.
    I do it once a week and love it. its a mixture of boxing, skipping, sit ups, push ups, running and what ever sadistic thing the instructers can come up with. Do it to your level and slowly build up.
    the best advice I got was from them was. start of and reach a target no, ie 30 sit ups in 60 seconds. next time round try and beat it even by one or two, slowly you build up and suddenly your fit.
    I'm also a clyde at 6'2 230 pounds but with and added disadvantage of being on medication for life that has weight gain as a side effect gah.
    Build up and one day you will be hitting the trails doing punishing rides, getting back and smiling about about your achievements afterwards. THAT is motivation

    Keep up the good work and soon you will be riding with the rest of us on the trails and maybe having a few drinks afterwards a leaner meaner riding machine.

  23. #23
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    You can ride through the winter

    I started riding this time, last year. As I got darker, I upgraded from a battery light to a rechargable light system. It worked great. There are a LOT of different models out there. I am going to get a helmet mounted light this year (too many twists and turns on local trails). You can spend quite a bit, and you pay for what you get. Jet lights are supposed to be just about the best. As far as snow, (I don't know where you are), you can get studded tires. The snow conditions really dictate if it's possible to ride. One of my best rides was in about 5 inches of powder on top of a good hard base. I don't have studded tires, but, I'm thinking about it. I'm down to around 220-5, upped the mileage and eating better food. If you do go to the gym, work on your "core," your abs, back. The latest 'fad' is movement exercises, some with a medicine ball, some with bands. Supposedly, it helps you better with whole body movement unlike weights which tend to isolate muscles.

  24. #24
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    try finding a used bike in the classifieds. if you can get a decent deal on one and don't end up liking riding, you can always sell it for at least near what you paid for it. A lot of people will start unloading their bikes soon also, now that the 07's are rolling into stores.

  25. #25
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    I got a GT I-drive 3.0 about 5 years ago. The seat on that was a nightmare. One of the best investments I made was buying a Terry Liberator Gel saddle. I could spend all day on the bike now and saddle sores are not an issue. Don't discount the importance of comfort! It was well worth the $50 to me as I found myself making excuses to not ride before I bought the new saddle. Good luck and nice job so far!

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